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Wherever I Go by Mary Wagley Copp: Reading Group Plan - 4th Grade

Subject: Reading

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective:

To learn about refugees, migration, read the book, Wherever I Go by Mary Wagley Copp and answer questions about the book.

Common Core Standard:  


Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts, words, or actions).




  • Today we will be learning about why people migrate and the types of migration. Does anybody know what migration means?

(Allow the students to answer.)



  • Migration can describe the movement of animals and humans from one location to another.

Animal Migration

  • Animals will often move to find food or better weather conditions. For example, bats will migrate to warmer locations during the winter. Some bats will also migrate from Mexico to Texas in the summer to eat insects because there is more food for them in Texas during this time. 
  • The dragonfly will also migrate to different countries by following the rainy seasons. In early fall, you can see dragonflies migrate from Canada down to Mexico.
  • We call this Seasonal Migration. 
  • Does anyone know of any other animals that migrate?

(Allow the students to answer.)

Human Migration

  • Today we will focus on human migration. This is when people move from one place to another place to live. They can move to live for a short time or permanently.
  • There are many reasons why someone migrates to a new city, state, or country. 
  • Can you think of any examples of why somebody will move to live in a new place?

(Allow the students to answer.)

  • Humans can move for a better job or for education, such as to go to University. People also move to be closer to family or after they get married. Some people will move for religious reasons, such as being a missionary. 
  • Sometimes people move just because they want to live in a new country or want to be closer to different environments such as the ocean or mountains. 


  • When people are forced to leave their homes, we occassionally call them refugees.
  • Does anybody know why a refugee would be forced to migrate from their homes?

(Allow the students to answer.)

  • Refugees often migrate because of conflict, violence, war, or natural disasters.
  • Warzones are dangerous and when it ruins a village or city, people will lose their homes and move to a safer place where there is no conflict. 
  • Similarly, natural disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, or hurricanes can destroy people's homes and force them to move to a different location.
  • Countries will often set up a refugee camp for refugees to live in. A refugee camp is a temporary place built to protect and help people.
  • Sometimes, people have to wait at refugee camps before beginning a new life as citizens of a new country. 
  • Refugee camps will have the basic things needed to survive but not be the same as having a stable home. Some refugee camps have tents for people to live in. 
  • Has anyone ever been camping? How is camping in a tent different from being at home?

(Allow the students to answer.)

Wherever I Go Book

  • One example of a refugee camp is the Shimelba Camp in Africa that has Eritrean refugees. 
  • You will now listen to a book about a girl and her family who migrated to the Shimelba Camp. This book is called Wherever I Go by Mary Wagley Copp. 
  • Listen to the story carefully, and feel free to make notes, because I will be giving you a worksheet with questions.
  • As you listen, I want you to be thinking about the main characters in the book. Listen to how the author describes them and what their thoughts are. I also want you to listen to how the author describes the Shimelba Camp and why the family is at the Camp.
  •  After you finish the worksheet, we will talk about your answers, and we can discuss your thoughts on refugee camps. 
  • Does anyone have any questions?

(Let students listen to the book using the YouTube link provided. Provide the worksheet. After a short time, ask the students if they want to hear the story again before sharing answers.)



  • Who would like to share your answers?

(Allow the students to share.)

  • What are your thoughts about refugee camps?

(Allow the students to share.)

Written by Sara Menges

Education World Contributor

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